Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

List of contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

Acknowledgements

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

List of abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xvi

read more

Introduction: The far left in Britain from 1956

Evan Smith, Matthew Worley

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-22

In 1972, Tariq Ali, editor of the radical newspaper Black Dwarf and leading figure in the International Marxist Group (IMG), wrote in the introduction to his book, The Coming British Revolution: ...

Part I: Movements

read more

1. Engaging with Trotsky: the influence of Trotskyism in Britain

John Callaghan

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-44

Trotsky became known in Britain after the Bolshevik Revolution in association with Lenin, as he did across the globe. But as early as 1920 Bertrand Russell, who noted the ‘lightening intelligence’, vanity and charisma of the man while visiting Moscow, warned that Trotsky was ‘not by any means’ regarded as Lenin’s equal by his Bolshevik comrades.1 ...

read more

2. The New Left: Beyond Stalinism and social democracy?

Paul Blackledge

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-61

The British New Left emerged in 1956 as a response to a global ideological crisis that opened with Khrushchev’s secret speech, but which came to fruition when the revolutionary workers’ movement in Hungary was suppressed by Russian tanks on the same weekend that Anglo-French troops invaded Egypt.1 ...

read more

3. Narratives of radical lives: the roots of 1960s activism and the making of the British left

Celia Hughes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 62-79

In 1958, 14-year-old Di Parkin accompanied her mother, a housing worker, collecting rents from council tenants in London’s Notting Hill. The middle-class teenager was shocked to see several households sharing a single outside toilet. At one address a female tenant did not know how to write her name, and had to be helped by Di’s mother to sign the form. ...

read more

4. Marching separately, seldom together: the political history of two principal trends in British Trotskyism, 1945–2009

Phil Burton-Cartledge

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 80-97

The Socialist Party (SP) (formerly the Militant Tendency) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) traditions have proven to be the most durable and high profile of all of Britain’s competing Trotskyist tendencies. Their opponents in the International Marxist Group and the Socialist Labour League/Workers’ Revolutionary Party (SLL/WRP) each met limited success and influence ...

read more

5. Opposition in slow motion: the CPGB’s ‘anti-revisionists’ in the 1960s and 1970s

Lawrence Parker

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 98-114

In common with other national parties in the world ‘official’ communist movement, the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) gave birth to pro-Chinese and pro-Soviet inner-party oppositional groupings in the 1960s and 1970s. While there were important structural impediments to the growth of such oppositions,1 this article focuses particularly on the ideological problems associated with these trends ...

read more

6. Dissent from dissent: the ‘Smith/Party’ Group in the 1970s CPGB

Andrew Pearmain

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-132

The ‘Smith/Party Group’ was an informal faction inside the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in the early 1970s. Its ideological orientation shifted over its few years of existence as its political economy took distinctive shape, but initially it defined itself by ‘a rejection of the concept of a parliamentary transition to socialism, ...

read more

7. British anarchism in the era of Thatcherism

Rich Cross

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 133-152

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a period of unexpected resurgence for the British anarchist movement, and for wider libertarian political initiatives circling in the orbit of an expanding anarchist core. The renaissance of anarchism in the UK was not something which many contemporary commentators on the British political fringe had anticipated. ...

Part II: Issues

read more

8. Jam tomorrow?: Socialist women and Women’s Liberation, 1968–82: an oral history approach

Sue Bruley

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-172

This chapter aims to explore the connections between the far left in Britain and women’s liberation from the heady days of ‘1968’ to the bleak impact of Thatcherism. It assesses the experiences of women in left groups in this period and examines the possibilities for the engagement of revolutionary socialism and women’s liberation. ...

read more

9. Something new under the sun: the revolutionary left and gay politics

Graham Willett

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-189

When gay politics exploded onto the political scene in the West in the late 1960s, it came, seemingly, out of the blue, without warning or history or antecedents. And although four decades of research have revealed a long history of struggle – which in Europe dates back to the 1860s – in many ways homosexual politics actually was, in the 1960s, something new. ...

read more

10. ‘Vicarious pleasure’?: The British far left and the third world, 1956–79

Ian Birchall

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 190-208

When Communist Party general secretary Harry Pollitt heard of his party’s bad results in the 1949 St Pancras North by-election, he commented: ‘We may not have won St Pancras, but we’ve got China.’2 It summed up an attitude that would become widespread on the left over the following decades: a belief that the locus of revolutionary change had shifted from those countries ...

read more

11. Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79

Satnam Virdee

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 209-228

In most histories of the New Left, 1968 is quite correctly identified as an important watershed, a turning point in the history of political struggles for social justice and equality. The formation of a militant anti-war movement against Western imperialist intervention abroad was accompanied by anti-racist struggles in the West. ...

read more

12. Red Action – left-wing political pariah: some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance

Mark Hayes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 229-246

It would be very easy to dismiss Red Action (RA) as a political irrelevance, especially since ‘revolutionary’ activism on the far left of the ideological spectrum in Britain has been characterised by an abundance of apparently similar, short-lived sectarian micro-groups. Red Action might easily be portrayed as a minuscule manifestation of the same genus ...

read more

13. Anti-fascism in Britain, 1997–2012

David Renton

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 247-263

Anti-fascism is along with anti-militarism one of the most successful campaigns with which the left in Britain has been associated: key moments, such as the Battles of Olympia (1934), Cable Street (1936) or Lewisham (1977) were events at which the activities of the left forced themselves into the news, and through which whole generations of activists came into the movement. ...

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 264-269